Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Monday, January 5, 2009

January Supper Club - Cheese! Dilled Cheddar Cheese Batter Bread

We were even more slapdash than usual this month, the theme being sent out on Friday before we met on Sunday. I dithered for a while and said what the heck, I'll make some bread. I must have gotten this off the Cooking Light bulletin boards, but I didn't note down who posted it there.

I thought that, being a batter, this would be easy to make, but it turned out to have a few problems in the assembly. The first is that there's a typo in the recipe -- the total amount of flour called for in the instructions is more than specified in the ingredient list. I went with the higher number and I think that was the wrong choice, as my dough was quite stiff, not batter-y at all. Second, I didn't have any dill seeds, which I thought I had somewhere, and certainly no fresh dill. I just used a lot of dried dill.

Finally, it took a really long time to rise. I actually thought that I had killed my yeast, a mistake I haven't made in years, but a poke showed that there were teensy tiny air pockets in the dough, so I upped the temperature and it did eventually puff up. Did fine in the oven, too. And the finished product was definitely worth the trouble! I will make this one again, it was quite a hit with the group.

3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons dill seeds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup canola oil
3 eggs, room temperature, beaten to blend
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 package dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups packed grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Bring first 3 ingredients to simmer in small saucepan; cool to 120°F. Whisk in oil and eggs. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, yeast, salt and 2 cups cheese in large bowl of electric mixer. Add warm liquid mixture and fresh dill; beat 3 minutes. Add remaining 1 1/4 cups flour; beat 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Do not stir batter down. Spoon half of batter into pan; sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese over. Cover with remaining batter; smooth top. Cover and let rise in warm draft-free area until batter reaches top of pan, about 30 minutes.

Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped, about 45 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool.

Makes 1 loaf.

The rest of the cheesy dinner:
  • D - salad (naturally) - Caesar-type
  • K - chicken noodle casserole! with cream of mushroom soup and everything. Also ricotta cookies.
  • F - blueberry blintzes
  • P - mini-cheesecakes
Dinner was fine, but the dessert buffet was breathtaking, and I was very glad I hadn't make a cheesecake, too!

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